This is a collaborative post written by Ellie Jo.
How to Save Money When Throwing a Dinner Party
Hosting a dinner party is a great way to get friends together. But without even noticing, the costs can quickly spiral from pricey to ridiculous! There’s no shame in planning a budget dinner party, and we have all the essential tips you need to save money when catering for guests.
Borrow and Recycle
Any self-respecting dinner host needs to at least attempt to make their home look a little fancier than usual! If you don’t have a suitable table or enough chairs, simply ask friends or family to borrow furniture. It’s a bit of a quirky request, but most would be happier bringing a seat than a bottle! The same goes for plates and cutlery. A simple centerpiece can be made using jam jars and freshly cut flowers. Keep it simple to keep costs down. Most people don’t remember the finer details- they just remember if they had fun!
Cut your drinks cost
Most dinner guests will enjoy a drink before, during and after the food is served. There’s no need to scrimp on labeled drinks. Use a discount liquor store to stock up your liquor cabinet and wine rack with quality drinks on a budget. Instead of making expensive individual welcome cocktails, serve a sharing pitcher jug inspired by your favourite tipple. This way you can add more soft drinks and fruit juices to the mix to make liquor go further. As long as you don’t have an undercover sommelier at the table, a budget red or white wine will please the palette of most guests.
Budget meals can taste great
Cheap and cheerful versions of posh recipes can curb the costs of catering for lots of people. Appetizers can often be the most expensive part of a meal. Sliced bread and butter is a popular choice in restaurants that is easy to do at home.
Guests are sure to love the rustic style of a Homemade Pizza. Provide a selection of toppings so everyone can get involved with the cooking process. Guests will be so proud of their pizza they won’t feel like they’re missing out on a la carte dining.
Coupons can bring your dining expenses down dramatically. Look out for discounts on particularly expensive ingredients like meats and desserts. If you’re feeling brave, you could test out your haggling skills at the local market. Most stall holders reduce their prices before they shut up shop. With the right tactic you can get some real bargains on quality produce.
A simple yet delicious dessert is fruit salad. It’s easy to prepare and only requires a side of vanilla ice cream.
The best entertainment is free
A round of classic dinner party games is the perfect way to round off the evening. Charades is a great team game that will get everyone laughing. If your group of friends particularly likes board games, ask each guest to bring along their favorite game to share. Use your smartphone to take advantage of the hundreds of free game apps that you can download and play again and again.